"What Viewers Actually Want In A TV Channel" in Humanizing Tech
Building the only digital video product that people would kill to pay for
I. The News
Last week Eddie Cue at Apple gave an interesting interview with the Hollywood Reporter. In it he took a very interesting approach to describing why the Apple TV is the most beneficial product for the consumer market. Essentially, that the viewer can push a button, tell Siri what you want to watch, and have the show start playing all without having to figure out what channel it’s playing on.
The strategy is right on point, but did the product turn out the way it should have, based on this direction?
I’m not so sure.
II. The Insight
The cable, broadcast, telecom, tech, and media industry continue to talk about how important video is to the future of their products because it creates stickiness with their users.
- Social Networks: video keeps people returning to their various apps so they can be served more ad impressions
- Telecom: TV
The reason that online video has taken off is very simple to understand. Complete and utter personalization. I don’t have to watch some YouTube video if I don’t want to. I only watch the one I want.
But cable TV doesn’t work that way. I have to wade through 1,000 channels each with a linear stream of different types of content that I probably don’t want to watch. Eddie Cue was right that a DVR is a legacy piece of tech that shouldn’t exist in our world today.
But the conversations being had by the media and execs are the wrong ones. Everyday people don’t want your “fat” bundle or “skinny” bundle or whatever these things mean. What they actually want is to choose from a list of very specific shows.
I don’t want the entire library of ESPN because maybe I’m only interested in one single NFL team. I also only subscribe to HBO because of 2 or 3 shows. And I want to get some new movie releases in there as well, but only action adventure.
But this doesn’t exist today. So I’m left subscribing to an entire cable package bundled with phone, internet, and TV.
III. The Future Product
Just like Twitter, I want to “follow” programs that I like. If I could choose, I would check the box next to:
- NBA (drill down: Finals only, not regular season)
- Game of Thrones
- House of Cards
- Bloomberg Tech News
- New movie releases
From just 5 types of content, you see how scattered these things actually are versus what I actually want to watch. I’ll take sports from ABC, NBC or ESPN, but only a few games. I’ll take Game of Thrones from HBO and House of Cards from Netflix. I’ll take my tech news from an individual web publisher and lots of new movies across a number of studios.
I want one channel, with only my interests and a notification when new content is released that takes me directly into my own personal video app library where I watch live sports, news broadcasts and other TV and movies on demand.
One app on my iPhone. One tap to only the shows I care about. Sounds like a dream doesn’t it?
IV. Blockers to Building It
Unfortunately, this is much easier said than done. The tech side of this equation is remarkably easy compared to the negotiation side.
The reason this product doesn’t exist is because you would have to get approval and share a slice of the money pie with every broadcaster in the world, every content creator, and movie studio.
You would need to negotiate with Disney, ABC, NBC, Paramount, Universal, HBO, Netflix, Amazon, every sports league, every movie theater chain, and then buy out all the long-standing deals in place between each of these parties. It would probably cost you in the magnitude of tens of billions of dollars. Only Bill Gates and Apple have that kind of cash.
But the return won’t be there. So it’s going to take time. Lots of time before current contracts are up, new monetization models come into play, and emerging markets begin to tow more force than the developed world currently does. 3 billion people with some of their new found cash will want to spend it on some digital entertainment. But by that time, we may not even be talking about traditional 2D TV. We could be in an entirely different, augmented world.
Create your own content, entertain your own audience, and deliver it to them in more immersive ways. They’ll be willing to open their pocketbooks for their very own tailored experience.
from Sean Everett on Medium http://ift.tt/2a5hBn8